The Incredible Value Of Booking Marriott Hotel + Air Packages Before August

Filed Under: Great Deals, Marriott
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Update: See the “update” section below the “bottom line” for some info that’s new to me.

In mid-April we learned the full details of Marriott’s new loyalty program, which will be debuting in August. This is a huge undertaking on Marriott’s part, and members have had a lot of questions and concerns. While there are some areas where we have answers, there are other areas where we don’t.

In this post I wanted to share my thought process out loud regarding possibly booking a couple of Marriott Hotel + Air Packages before August, when Marriott’s program changes kick in. This has the potential to be by far the best use of Starpoints ever.

Hotel + Air Packages are the best use of Marriott points

I’ve written a guide in the past about Marriott’s Hotel + Air Packages, which I consider to be the best use of Marriott points. This essentially allows you to redeem points for a set number of nights in a certain category of hotel, plus a certain number of miles in select frequent flyer programs.

The cost of such a redemption varies based on what category of hotel you want to use your free nights at, how many miles you want, and which program you want those miles with.

See the previous post for the full details (I won’t repost all the charts here just to keep this post clean), but to give one example you can redeem 270,000 Marriott Rewards points for 120,000 Alaska miles (I just mention Alaska miles because I consider them to be among the most valuable) plus a seven night stay at a Category 1-5 Marriott Rewards property.

270,000 Marriott Rewards points is equivalent to 90,000 Starpoints. One popular use of Starpoints is that you can convert them into airline miles at a 1:1 ratio, with a 5,000 point bonus for every 20,000 points transferred. So assuming you value one Starpoint at 1.25 airline miles, that means 90,000 Starpoints is worth 112,500 Alaska miles. In other words, booking a Marriott Hotel + Air Package is a better value for getting miles, not even factoring in the seven nights of hotel stays you get.

Now let’s talk a bit about the logic of booking one of these packages soon.

Marriott Hotel + Air Packages are changing under the new program

Marriott has revealed that Hotel + Air Packages are here to stay, though they have said we should expect updated pricing. That updated pricing hasn’t yet been revealed, though I think it goes without saying that this redemption offer will be devalued.

That’s because we know they’re keeping Starwood’s old mileage transfer ratios, and it would be silly of them to offer a better ratio when booking one of these packages while offering a seven night free hotel stay.

So if you do want to book one of these packages, you should do so in the next couple of months, in my opinion.

How will Marriott’s hotel categories map over?

When booking one of these Hotel + Air Packages, you receive a certificate good at specific categories (the cost of the package varies based on which one of these you want):

  • Category 1-5
  • Category 6
  • Category 7
  • Category 8
  • Category 9
  • Ritz Tier 1-3
  • Ritz Tier 4-5

As we know, Marriott will be adjusting their award chart come August, and it will look as follows (as you can see, off-peak and peak pricing, as well as Category 8 redemptions, will only be introduced starting in 2019):

This presents an interesting situation. When you redeem for a Hotel + Air Package you’re given a certificate that you can redeem for a hotel stay within a year. If you’re given a Category 1-5 certificate, how will that map over in the new Marriott program, given that the categories will be changing slightly?

The simple answer is that we don’t yet know. My general expectation would be that Marriott will be generous here, given the mid-year transition. I think in most ways they’ve been quite generous.

This is purely speculation on my part, but my guess is that even though we’re going from nine categories to eight categories, these certificates will maintain the same category restrictions. That’s to say that I think a Category 1-5 certificate is likely to still be valid at Category 1-5 properties, even though that now (theoretically) includes better hotels than before.

So I actually see this as an additional advantage. I can’t imagine they’d adjust the Category 1-5 certificates to only be valid at Category 1-4 properties, for example.

Why I’m so excited about this

On the most basic level I’m thinking of redeeming 270,000 Marriott Rewards points (90,000 Starpoints) for a Category 1-5 seven night stay plus 120,000 Alaska miles. That’s a killer deal for the miles alone, and any hotel stay is just icing on the cake.

But then I’m also incrementally thinking it could make sense to go for a more premium booking. For example, Category 7 will be the highest hotel category for bookings made between August 1 and the end of the year.

For 330,000 Marriott Rewards points (110,000 Starpoints) you could get 120,000 Alaska miles plus seven nights at a Category 1-8 property. So if we’re going to say that one Starpoint is worth 1.25 Alaska miles, that means that you’re paying 94,000 Starpoints for 120,000 Alaska miles, and 16,000 Starpoints for seven free nights at a Category 1-7 property.

That theoretically means you could book seven nights at the St. Regis Aspen, St. Regis Deer Valley, St. Regis New York, etc. That would be an insane value.

Let’s just put this into context for a moment. Right now Starwood charges 35,000 Starpoints per night at the St. Regis Aspen or Deer Valley in peak season, so a five night redemption (since the fifth night is free) would cost 140,000 Starpoints.

Now I could redeem 110,000 Starpoints and get an extra two nights free, plus 120,000 Alaska miles. YES PLEASE.

Let me once again caution that I could be wrong about how the categories will map over. Alternatively you could book a Category 8 package for 360,000 Marriott Rewards points (120,000 Starpoints), or a Category 9 package for 390,000 Marriott Rewards points (130,000 Starpoints). That would still represent an excellent deal and it would 100% ensure you could redeem at these properties, though it may not even be necessary.

Historically Marriott has also let you “buy up” to a higher category package, though personally I wouldn’t fully rely on that as of August, since the prices of these redemptions may change.

An update

While Marriott hasn’t officially addressed this on their website or when I reached out to them, Starwood representative Starwood Lurker on FlyerTalk said the following:

Floater certificates, including outstanding Marriott Travel Packages, will be cancelled and converted to equivalent points, credited to the member’s account for future redemption.

It remains to be seen at what rate these certificates will be converted into points, though I hope it’s a generous ratio, given that they’re quite literally doing a “bait and switch” here.

Acquiring Marriott points

If you want to boost your points balance, there are many cards you can use to acquire Marriott points:

Earn Marriott Points

Bottom line

In general there are some great short-term opportunities to look forward to as of August, given how much cheaper redemptions at Starwood’s top properties will be when booking by the end of the year (even if you’re staying on a subsequent date). While that’s generally something to be excited about, booking a Marriott Hotel + Air Package has the potential to be even more valuable.

What we do know is that these redemption rates will eventually change, though what we don’t know is how these certificates will map over under the new program. I expect they’ll be generous here (or at least won’t screw over members), so I’d expect a Category 7 certificate should continue to be redeemable at a Category 7 property. If that’s the case, this will be the redemption of a lifetime.

So I guess in the next few weeks I should redeem for a few Marriott Hotel + Air Packages as a way of building up my Alaska Mileage Plan balance while scoring a killer deal on some great hotel stays.

Anyone else tempted to book some Marriott Hotel + Air Packages before August?

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  1. Shouldn’t the comparison be from what those places will cost between Aug 1 and the end of the year? There is a major point reduction at the top end for those few months. It seems like you are comparing what they travel very will be worth after August 1 to a pre Aug 1 SPG value, slanting the comparison dramatically.

  2. SPG Lurker on flyertalk said all certs from Marriott travel packages will be cancelled on Aug 1 and points credited to Marriott account. How many points exactly has not been revealed, but an expectation on flyertalk is 45k points for each cat 1-5 cert, which is the value in points attached to that cert on the back end.

    Do not expect any generosity.

  3. I wouldn’t expect such generous mapping of the certificates. The fact that you identify the value here as “insane” (rightfully so, for what it’s worth) suggests to me that Marriott will probably not go that route. I think a category 1-5 certificate mapping to 1-4 would make more sense. If Marriott were really that generous, the SPG cards would still be getting 3x MR points for general spend.

    I do not think the certificates will be canceled and exchanged with anything less than the number of points equivalent to booking a room under the old system (if canceling them is even what’s going to happen). Anything else would be a bait and switch, selling you something, unilaterally canceling it, and saying that now you can’t book the seven night stay you were purchasing. Replacing with the equivalent of the old number of points required for an equivalent stay under the old system at least wouldn’t leave you any worse off.

  4. @echino, do you have a link to that SPG Lurker’s statement on FT?

    Also, is it confirmed that the Marriott will do away with the travel packages comes August?

    Currently, I am sitting on 120K+ SPG points – the question: Is it better to go with AA redemption prior to end of May with the bonus 20K SPG points = 32,250 AA miles. Or, transfer to Marriott and then do travel package with UA for 132K plus 7 nights?

  5. A quote from flyertalk SPG forum:

    Floater certificates, including outstanding Marriott Travel Packages, will be cancelled and converted to equivalent points, credited to the member’s account for future redemption.

    Subsequent questions about what “equivalent points” means exactly were not answered. Since the the value assigned on the back end to the 1-5 cat cert part of the travel package is 45k, that’s what a majority of people on flyertalk expect to be refunded on Aug 1.

  6. It is posted on Marriott’s site, in the FAQ, that certificates will be converted to points value.

  7. Also, you’re not factoring in conversion bonuses to airlines, like there is now for AA.

    I agree the packages can be great values, but I have had one for a while and not found anywhere to use it. I find most Marriotts in Europe to be sub-par. Plus you can only use them for a base room, and if we’re going to be there a week we want an upgraded room. And now that I won’t get Marriott lounge access and breakfast, I’m even less likely to want to stay in a Marriott for a week. So I wouldn’t actually be too upset if they credited me my points.

  8. if I do not have any plans to stay at the hotel, is it silly to hope that the certificates actually WILL BE cancelled and points redeposited?…you’ll get your miles at an excellent rate, and you’ll get some points back, too…am I missing something here?

  9. @echino
    What happens if you have an existing 7 night reservation to use a certificate for mid-August?

  10. Spg lurker did suggest that the floating certificates will be refunded to points. As mentioned above the 45k refund is likely to piss off a lot of people so some are hoping for a better return.

    Personally, I plan to buy two packages at cat 5 for the best chance at nice hotel redemptions should it work out to our advantage. I also plan to book the hotels so they are no longer floating come August 1 with the intent on either using them or refunding for the new equivalent redemption (high hopes).

    And if I get screwed on the certs, I will still have made out in mileage xfer.

    Straight through 90k spg to airline miles will equal 110k to package two airlines (Alaska, American, Virgin Atl, Aeroplan, etc). Via Marriott I receive 10k more miles at 120k.

    So, as mentioned this is a great value when getting a higher miles xfer plus the hote package and mediocre refund of points should they hold the line on the unused cert.

    The gamble is worth it, imo.

    Where I am conflicted is that I have enough for and want to use on higher category hotels. If they cancel those certs with subpar hote points returns, then we lose out on the xfer bonus of equivalent spg points to airline miles.

  11. Any outstanding values that might be recommended as far as locations. Noticing more and more “this hotel does not participate fully in the SPG… etc”

  12. As someone with a measly ~65k Starpoints and who has only ever transfered Starpoints to Alaska, maybe it’s time to top up to 90k spg and buy this package? I have no current plans to use the hotel portion right now. What would some of you guys do in my situation?

  13. Lucky I don’t see the value for some redemptions. I’m planning a trip to Japan and a stay at the Ritz Tokyo costs 420k Marriott points for 7 nights. The redemption costs 540k points and includes 120k miles (I was going to choose Virgin Atlantic to book with ANA first class round trip). I was going to break even on the it. So I chose to transfer much less valuable Amex points to Virgin and book the hotel with Marriott points (and stay only 5 nights instead of 7 in Tokyo). Am I missing something?

  14. Didn’t they say that certs will convert to point values? Like a Cat 1-5 cert becomes usable at properties up to 25,000 points once the new system is in place.

  15. Wouldn’t it be better to wait until they announce the new flight & hotel program since you could just book it ONLY if it’s better to do so?

    What would be the benefit of booking it now, UNLESS they change the existing program without notice which is highly unlikely…

  16. I agree with @Katie C

    I’m assuming they will announce details of this prior to August 2018

  17. @ Katie C — I’m not convinced they’ll necessarily provide an update before the new program launches, and I assume the new program will launch with new values. I hope they’ll provide some notice here, but I’m not totally convinced.

  18. @ Steve — There’s no doubt the high category Ritz certificates are less good values, though it’s still not breakeven. You’re getting 120,000 airline miles for 120,000 Marriott points, when otherwise Marriott points would convert into airline miles at a 3:1 ratio, with a 5,000 mile bonus for every 60,000 points transferred.

  19. @ CSue — The conversion bonuses can help, but even so, I’d take Alaska miles without a conversion bonus over American miles with a conversion bonus, so that’s why it doesn’t factor into my consideration here.

  20. @ Sam — For what it’s worth, I also think the ability to redeem 60,000 Marriott Rewards points per night at top St. Regis properties is an insanely good value, and that’s exactly what’s going to happen.

  21. To each his own. Doesn’t Alaska have conversion bonuses sometimes though?

    @jay Have a link for that so we can see exactly what you are reading?

  22. Lucky
    I am afraid your speculation is unrealistic.
    For those who are interested to learn more, strongly suggest you to read the STICKY in FT SPG forum regarding this imminent actual merger of 3 programs and not be misled by what Lucky said here as he was totally off the target on this one.

    @echino is correct.
    And Marriott already downgraded those whose status were from SPG side, which I am not sure Lucky even has corrected his initial article to reflect this unfortunate turn of event that Marriott RESCINDED its VP’s own words about keeping status quo till end of 2018.

    @sam is also on target about not to expect such generosity from Marriott which still hasn’t clarified on how much point refund would be on those FORCED cancellation of floater certs from the Travel Package.

    AA specifically EXCLUDES Travel Package miles are not eligible for transfer bonus on its last 2 such transfer bonuses. Ditto Aeroplan. Both allowed it on its first transfer bonus offer the past 18 months but excluded it subsequently.
    UA still allowed it last Dec due to UA and Marriott are partners and UA transfer already enjoys a 10% extra, but of course UA has capped the bonus to 25K versus uncapped by AA or Aeroplan.

    Finally those who want to speculate on how the mapping might look like, strongly recommend you to hop on Frequent Miles site to read about his thought on the possible mapping of categories and Travel Package. You would be much better served by going there to read up several articles on the topic. Just do a Search using Marriott Transition as key words and you will find them. This site apparently would not allow me to post the links here.

    No way Marriott would give the same category 5 to the current category 5 when the whole structure will shrink from current 9 categories down to only 7.
    Personally what Lucky wrote about the same mapping on category is totally unrealistic if not downright wishful thinking.

  23. @fil I wasn’t addresses packages. Just saying that if you can’t find use for the hotel, the direct SPG transfers come out ahead if there are transfer bonuses.

  24. @CSue
    I agree with you on this as straight transfer does earn the transfer bonus when offered. Though AS has never offered one in my memory.

  25. PS
    Keep in mind that you do not need to stay all 7 nights in order to use the cert, you just forfeit the nights you dont need / use.

    It is entirely possible in the past to book a 4 or 5 nights stay using a 7 night cert to pay for it.

    For most people the hotel certs still represent some value. For those already have specific locations in mind, it is definitely valuable.

  26. I think the best strategy is to wait until July 31st and hopefully we’ll get leaks on FT or somewhere (leaks likely will come a day or free hours before the new program launches), THEN decide whether to book it before or after the launch.

    If no leaks, well, nothing much to lose since it’s all speculation now on what the new program is gonna be.

  27. @Katie C

    Good luck trying to jam thru the Marriott CS to do what you need to do.

    As of mow the hold time is between 45min to over 3 hours.

    Friday everything at Marriott was down – website, reservation phone line, customer service line, you name it.

  28. I read all the referenced material. What is missing is the definition of “floating certificates.” Marriott is clear that free night certificates will map to new categories based on equivalent number of points, and that you will be able to use them at Marriott or SPG hotels. So probably a 1-5 7 day will become a 1-4 7 day. SPG Lurker repeated that. But SPGLurker also said floating certificates will be cancelled and credited, with no definition of what a floating certificate is.

  29. echino says “A quote from flyertalk SPG forum: Floater certificates, including outstanding Marriott Travel Packages, will be cancelled and converted to equivalent points, credited to the member’s account for future redemption.”

    However at this moment the words “including outstanding Marriott Travel Packages” are not in the referenced post.

    So it is unclear what the definition of Floater Certificates is and whether Travel Packages are included.

  30. For all purposes, 7 consecutive nights at a hotel is something not too many people really have a use for. Sure, you can use some nights and ditch the others, but still I question how many people spend so much time at a single hotel (my European friends aside, given that they can afford to spend two weeks in the same place and still have 3 weeks of vacation left).

  31. @CSue,

    Lurker has clarified it in the thread about the Floater – it is clearly included the TP, and actually primarily refers to the TP certs that have not yet attached to an actual hotel booking.
    Minced the words you would but it is not going to change the fact that Marriott has full intention to cancel those certs and refund the points – so far 10 days have passed after people asked Lurker to get a clarification from Marriott on how the refund of points is calculated – no word, the Loyalty Team remains silent on this.

    I would say dont get your hope high on the mapping as you interpreted.

    @Airways and Travels
    You would be surprised many do, including folks have school age children.
    Friend just spent his at DC last Summer.

    We spent ours at Hong Kong last Feb and will do so again this November.

  32. Called the Marriott Customer Service and had a very friendly rep on the line. She said, and she sounded very confident about this info, that the Marriott Packages will continue to be valid but will not be usable for SPG properties. I’m not sure how they would do it, but that’s what the Marriott rep told me.

  33. @CSue
    Read Post 1294 on the big STICKY

    Lurker says
    I think you might be on to something…

    Floater certificates, including outstanding Marriott Travel Packages…

    Best regards,

    William R. Sanders
    Social Media Specialist
    Starwood Hotels & Resorts LLC

  34. Two questions on these certs. With status can you get a room upgrade or is this only standard rooms? Can you use them for less than 7 nights. Like 4-5 nights and just check out or tell them you wont be there for 7 nights? I ask because you never know about these things.

  35. I think some have cited the same thing- but is it SO terrible, that someone uses 270k points to get the cat 1-5 cert + 120k Alaska miles, and then worst case get 45k Marriot Pts refunded??

    I get that it’s bad for people who actually intended on using the package, but for others, it’s essentially a rebate back of $15k SPG points meaning the 120k Alaska Miles essentially cost 75K SPG points vs 90K SPG points???

  36. @fll
    If I only want miles (Alaska in my case) and absolutely don’t care for the hotel part of the package – why do you think it’ll be a bad deal??…if hotels map to different categories – well, more reasons for me to ask Marriott to refund miles back to my account…

    For those who are considering getting one of those packages strictly for miles – does it matter which category hotel you choose?…I mean, you will (hopefully) get those hotel points back anyway, so – does it matter?

  37. @ T. — You’d want to choose the cheapest category possible, since it will be the fewest points.

  38. @T
    The cert CAN be used to book others. So you dont care for the cert, it can be a nice gift to whoever you want to gift to.
    The cert carries implicit value.
    For those who actually want to use the certs but have not had a specific time frame / location / property nailed down yet, the INVOLUNTARY cancellation of the Floater Certs IS a very bad deal and an unfair treatment.
    As noted, Marriott Loyalty Team chose to stay silent on this probably want to gauge the reaction among members before announce the details.

    CSue has a good point – if you dont care for the hotel cert, then you may get similar boost or even better, when the airlines have transfer bonuses and just transfer the points to the airline programs as Marriott has said the transfer ratios would remain the same, i.e. 20K SPG now would be 60K “Points”, presumably with the same extra 5K at 60K interval. Although that latter part again is not clarified.
    Also, the airlines in the Travel Package 2 currently have inferior ratio but they are 1 to 1 partners with SPG. So if your preference is, say, ANA, you would be better off to ignore the Travel Package in its current form. ANA has a 125K RTW award in J just fyi.

    Worth to Note
    Marriott has rescinded several initial announcements since the news broke in April.
    First it rebutted its own VP’s promise on giving the SPG side’s elites the same status till end of the 2018. Now all elite statuses earned from SPG side would be downgraded because
    Marriott’s side has always been more requirements, and their own elites will keep the same status just under different names.
    This is a fair treatment.

    Marriott also has rescinded on how to match LT status earned from SPG side to a more fair treatment now because the initial announcement was NO recognition. Upon outcry from SPG LT elites and their petitions, Marriott rescinded.

    Same applies to the options to qualify under the old rules / combined 2 programs eligible nights etc, because this is a Mid Year program changes, many people have already had some meaningful stay numbers finished or about to finish. Abruptly change the program rules from disqualify Stays and only count Nights would be utterly unfair to those under SPG scheme.

    Would not be surprised that the many unanswered questions would get their answers at very close to the end of July as Marriott continues monitoring the communities reactions. FWIW, it does not even answer questions on Marriott Insider site. Right now it is SPG lurker fielding all the questions.

    As for those planning to put their eggs to AS program, just keep in mind AS is very ripe for devaluation now all its partners have gone thru theirs, including CX just announced theirs came in effect in late June.
    AS charts currently are the most reasonably priced charts, have been this way since AA’s massive devaluation 2+ years ago, and UA’s continuous devaluation, not to mention DL does not even have a chart. So while all is good now, just keep in mind, your 120K miles may not be able to book the same awards in not so distant future.

    Finally, you will get more updated information by monitoring related threads in FT and not waiting for Lucky or anyone to do a summary for you that can be outdated or contains erroneous information.

    Good luck everyone on how you choose what to do with your points.

  39. When you guys say “45k refunded” on a category 1-5, do you mean 45k per night (45k x 7) or 45k total?

  40. No, 45k total.
    I am in the camp that thinks that is what we will get because if you have one, look at the certificate in your Marriott account. Where it shows your 7 night travel cert cat 1-5, they recently added 45,000 point value next to it. I don’t remember seeing that until recently, so they are probably setting an expectation of what they are worth. (Bloggers have always said this is what you will get back if you cancel one but the average person wouldn’t know that.)

    This is a pretty easy way for them to wipe out a bunch of outstanding points. So if someone wants to use theirs I would make sure you book before Aug 1.

  41. Do you have to use travel package hotel nights consecutively at the same hotel ? I don’t usually stay in one place for 7 nights. Thanks.

  42. @ u600213 — Yes, you have to use them for one hotel. So you may end up just throwing away a couple of nights, and it could still be a good deal.

  43. I’d rather use the additional Marriott points to book cat 7 Starwood’s during the window they are 20 k SPG points per night (as opposed to the current 30-35).

    I’d rather have a second week at a st Regis rather than just one week and a bunch of AS miles. Those are so easy to get, I have almost 500k and have never flown Alaska Air.

  44. Matt: It’s literally in the article.

    RobertW: Yes, status can get you an upgrade. Also: if there are 7-days award availability you can stay for 1 to 6 days and check out. But if you only want to stay, say, 5 days and there is 5 days availability but not 7 then you cannot use the cert.

  45. I will NOT be happy if my 7 night certificate is reduced to a mere 45k points. That is not an equivalent transfer. That doesn’t even cover 3 nights at a cat 4 hotel let alone 7.

    Just cancelled 7 nights at JW Phu Quoc in June. Guess I should have kept that one and just found the flights.

    Meanwhile I’d been contemplating upgrading the 1-5 certificate to category 8 so come August I could redeem at a top end SPG property.

  46. Lucky, i think more research should be made on this. I suspect the mapover points that you speculated are a bit off.

    I am very concerned about the potential refund in the points for “floating” certs. But if that is going to happen, i hope the info will be avail before 1 aug and we can analyse what to do next.

  47. FYI I have a cat 6 and cat 7 cert. cat 6 says 300k points (amount paid) and cat 7 says 330k points (amount paid). There are no other points on the activity.

    If you book a cat 6 each cat 6 hotel is 30k points a night, 7 nights actually costs 6 nights since you get the 5th night for free. So to me it seems like you should get back 180k points.

    If this is not how this will map then I will upgrade the certs to cat 9s and use on paris and Hawaii hotels.

    Further i was transferred several times trying to book a flights and nights cert the other day, but longest hold was MAYBE 5 minutes.

    I personally don’t think it’ll be as good as lucky, but also don’t believe all of the doom and gloom from the others.

  48. Forgive me if this has already been discussed but cant you use your certificates to book a hotel so you have a reservation for sometime this year and when things are more clearer in August cancel the certificate and use it at your preferred hotel, which may be spg Properties,
    I am planning to get the cat8+ ba points, soon as the certificate is in my account i well be using it for 7 night at Atlantis Royal Towers in Feb.

  49. Does the certificate have to be used from August to December of this year, or it can book hotels for as far as booking is opening up to?

  50. Should be noted that if you’re a MVC owner, there’s a secret 5 night travel package available to you as well. Again, this is only for MVC owners though.

  51. We all knew this was coming but I was procrastinating. I finally got through to Marriott Loyaltycare and booked a Category 6, JW Marriott Bangkok and 120,000 Alaska mile package for 300,000 points. Wasn’t going to wait until July, when they might cut the existing program. So as of today at 10 am PST, they’re still bookable! I wouldn’t wait.

  52. Post-mortem: I originally purchased a Cat 9 package, which converted to a Cat 6 package. Got the 120K Alaska miles, managed to get my expiration date extended a year by Marriott, and just came back from a week at the Ritz in Bali, a fabulous property with excellent service and great location. All around a good deal.

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